QMIN Magazine interviews internationally educated and talented Zaid Farouki who also showcased his first collection at Fashion Forward Dubai. The entirely handmade collection abides by culture techniques, embroidery, and finishing, turning the wearer into walking artwork. His vision is to create a globally hybrid muse. “Fashion breaks the boundaries between cultures and creates this global language that everyone speaks”.
1. Who is Zaid Farouki? How did you start your own label?
Coming from a multinational background I have always wanted to become a fashion designer. When it came to the idea of applying to universities and picking my major. I was told that as long as I got a degree in Business I could do whatever I wanted afterward. So that is exactly what I did, I moved to Washington DC and attended American University and Majored in Business Administration with a Marketing concentration, but I always felt that I wasn’t feeding my artistic side. So I enrolled myself in art classes and also added a Studio Art minor, which included painting, sculpting, and multimedia. I also started my own fashion blog zaiddor.com and in my final year in DC I applied to Istituto Marangoni in Milan and I got in. At that point I knew that’s where I was meant to be and what I was meant to do. After receiving my degree in Fashion Design, I moved to London and attended Central Saint Martin and took specialized courses in couture techniques and embroidery as well as hand painting. I am currently launching my brand and my first atelier in Dubai.
2. Where does your core inspiration come from?
Mainly from my multinational background. At a young age, I came to realize how fashion breaks the boundaries between cultures and creates this global language that everyone speaks. Influenced by many Arab nations which I relate to as well as The USA and Europe. I always knew my brand has to present me, my travels, my multinational background, as well as my experiences. As an Arab-American as well as being educated in the Italian fashion techniques I found inspiration in the fusion of cultures. Imagining a woman adorned by European clean cuts, true American liberties, and the ever-existent Arab dramatization has helped me to create the globally hybrid woman, a representative of a new globalized world and the woman whom I yearn to design for.
3. How do you combine fashion with art?
I am an artist and I chose fashion as my medium. The artistic process starts from the very beginning when buying fabrics only the highest quality of fabrics are purchased as they are a true testament to the true art form of weaving. Moreover, certain fabrics are created in-house, as seen in the presentation the black armor is completely made out of paint. I invented a technique where we could produce fabrics that are completely made out of paint without a necessary base to hold it together. The second step in combining fashion with art is the art of embroidery, abiding by couture techniques that I have acquired we embroider all the pieces in house. The third step is the talent of combining all the pieces together, with delicate hands and extreme care the embroidered pieces, the fabrics come together. Then finally, after joining all the pieces together I get to add the most visible and most impactful details on the dress, the painting. I treat all my dresses as canvases inspired by what I see or how I feel I let my inspiration flow to emerge with a wearable art piece. Where not only is it worn, but it can be easily added to the client’s art collection, when not worn it can be displayed on a mannequin at home standing by the paintings hanging on the walls.
4. Who is your favorite designer?
This question is definitely hard to answer. As I learn different techniques from different designers it would be difficult just to name just one designer.
5. What is the message behind your latest collection?
While creating “Dripping Amends” I imagined a woman of contemporary values walking through the hallways of a 16th-century château. As she explores the estate throughout the night, with nothing other than candles lighting her path and wax dripping onto her clothes, she emerges a different woman.
6. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Still following my passion and my dream and hopefully it will take me to opening up my next atelier in Paris.